Highlights: Premier Li on Ukraine, Economy and China-US Relations

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday held a virtual press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing after the conclusion of the fifth session of the 13th National People’s Congress.

Here are some of the highlights from the press conference.

On China’s economic growth

Steady economic growth on a high base indicates progress, Premier Li said.

Growth of 5.5% based on a GDP of more than 110 trillion yuan ($17.4 trillion) in China today would generate output equivalent to the size of a mid-sized economy, said said the prime minister.

China will increase government spending and extend tax and fee cuts to achieve stable growth in 2022, he said, adding that fee and tax cuts are the most direct, fair and effective in helping businesses.

The prime minister estimated the scale of tax refunds and fee reductions at 2.5 trillion yuan ($400 billion), with tax refunds at 1.5 trillion yuan. Small and micro businesses, he said, will be given priority in concessions that will be completed before the end of June.

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Premier Li: China’s GDP growth of 5.5% on a high basis means progress

18:27

On the situation in Ukraine

Speaking about the current situation in Ukraine, Li expressed hope that the situation will improve and peace will return as soon as possible.

China supports all efforts to defuse Russian-Ukrainian tensions through peaceful means, Li said, adding that China will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

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China supports all efforts to resolve Ukraine crisis through peaceful means: Premier Li

05:48

On anti-COVID measures

China will continue to take precise and scientific anti-COVID measures according to the development of the situation, Li said, adding that the country will gradually achieve the smooth movement of goods and people.

Li said China will prevent and control the epidemic to protect people’s lives, health and safety to maintain the normal flow of work and life, and to ensure the safety of industrial chains and ‘supply.

Speaking about the current epidemic in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Li said the SAR government should take the main responsibility in the fight against COVID-19 and the central government will do its full support.

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Premier Li: China will continue with precise and scientific anti-COVID measures

On China-US Relations

Li called on China and the United States to continue dialogue.

China-US cooperation benefits both countries as well as the world, the premier said, adding that economic competition between the two countries should be healthy and fair.

“Since the door has been opened, it must not be closed and there must be no decoupling,” he said.

(Cover: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds a virtual press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 11, 2022. /Xinhua)

Christi C. Elwood